Priyanka Kothari was born in the Bengali family on November 30, 1983 in Calcutta, West Bengal, India. Her dad is a businessman, mother is a homemaker, and she has an elder sister. She grew up in Calcutta, but most of her teen years were spent in Delhi where the family re-located subsequently. She is a Science Graduate from Dayal Singh College, DU. She speaks English, Bengali, Hindi, and even a little bit of Rajasthani.
She modeled initially in Mumbai, and when actor Madhavan came there for a commercial shoot, she met with him, showed him her photographs, he arranged an audition for her in Chennai. She was signed for a Tamil movie titled 'Jay Jay' during the year 2003. She then also appeared in a Telugu movie 'Madhyanam Hatya' during 2004. In both the Tamil and Telugu movies her screen name was "Amoha". She has also modeled with famous Indian Cricketer Kapil Dev.
These exposures got Ram Gopal Varma to approach her and sign her up in 'James', 'Sarkar' and in the Sholay re-make 'Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag' in which she plays Ghunghroo, which was originally played by Hema Malini (Basanti). Her screen name was Nisha Kothari for all of the Bollywood movies till Agyaat(2009). From Agyaat she started using her original name Priyanka Kothari.